NYPD slammed as footage shows officers ‘kidnapping’ a BLM protester with an unmarked van
Caught on camera: NYPD officers shoved a transgender protester into an unmarked vehicle during a BLM demonstration.
On Tuesday, during a protest against racism and police brutality in Manhattan, a trans person was violently shoved into a van by NYPD policemen. The scene caused a massive wave of online unrest, with people calling the incident “kidnapping”.
Shocking footage taken by an onlooker shows the officers forcefully cramming the protester into the unmarked van. Some find similarities between the disturbing scene in Manhattan and the police aggression in Portland, Oregon.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic images and NSFW language!
NYC is taking after Portland – a trans femme protestor was pulled into an unmarked van at the Abolition Park protest – this was at 2nd Ave and 25th Street pic.twitter.com/1PDhSYuK9h
— michelle lh࿊࿊q (@MichelleLhooq) July 28, 2020
The distressing video shows plainclothes police vigorously shoving the demonstrator into an unmarked van.
Meanwhile, officers in bright yellow vests are keeping the other protesters from interrupting the action.
Perco Lately reveals that the protester has been identified as an 18-year-old homeless trans woman named Nicki. She was one of the leaders at the BLM demonstration on Tuesday. Nicki was “kidnapped” at 2nd Avenue and 25th Street in Manhattan.
this is…kidnapping https://t.co/iT7SDb5RWx
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) July 28, 2020
A 32-year-old protester, who chose not to give his name, told Gothamist:
“Suddenly there was an unmarked grey van that moved out in front of us that had been waiting for us. Four guys jumped out and a line of police bicycles came out from down the block — we hadn’t seen them. They pushed us back. They grabbed Nicki like she was a rag doll…They had her arms on her neck and then they drove off.”
According to the protester, officers are “targeting” the leaders of the BLM demonstrations.
Incredibly disturbing. We need answers. https://t.co/LBCzbjpbtW
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) July 29, 2020
On their official Twitter account, NYPD stated that the woman was wanted for “damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park”.
In regard to a video on social media that took place at 2 Ave & 25 St, a woman taken into custody in an unmarked van was wanted for damaging police cameras during 5 separate criminal incidents in & around City Hall Park. The arresting officers were assaulted with rocks & bottles. pic.twitter.com/2jGD3DT3eV
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 29, 2020
In a follow-up tweet, the department claims their officers were “assaulted with rocks and bottles”. They also explained why their operation included an unmarked vehicle, saying it was the Warrant Squad’s approach to “to effectively locate wanted suspects”.
However, witnesses of the incident claim the accusation NYPD made, that their officers were assaulted, was a lie. Clara Kraebber, also an onlooker, said:
“None of that happened whatsoever. We literally turned the corner and were met with a line of police who attacked us without warning.”
Additionally, the New York Civil Liberties Union, New York’s state affiliate of the ACLU, called NYPD’s behavior “dangerous, abusive, and indefensible”.
BREAKING: We're receiving reports that at least one protester was abducted off the streets today by unmarked “officers” — this time in New York City.
These dangerous, abusive, and indefensible actions must stop. Law enforcement must be held accountable. pic.twitter.com/I9VQo4Tvbx
— ACLU (@ACLU) July 29, 2020
Furthermore, it was revealed that the arrested protester, Nicki Stone, 18, was charged with multiple counts of vandalism and criminal mischief for five recent incidents. She was released from custody a day after and met with cheers by fellow demonstrators.